Brady loves "hiking" as he calls it. I would call it a nature walk more than a hike - but to him any walk in a relatively wooded area is a "hike". This is a perfect thing to do almost anytime of year (except when it is cold, snowy, rainy). It is a great way to get out of the house and get some exercise while doing something that your children will really enjoy.
How do you find a place to go?
Obviously keep an eye open at parks / playgrounds in you area and see if they have wooded area / trails. My real suggestion though (at least for those people in the US)....go to http://stateparks.com/, click on your State and it will bring up the list of State Parks (you can also click on your region from this page to narrow down you search if you choose). From here you will want to start clicking on the various parks - most parks that you click on will list the activities available, many of which will have hiking trails. I have found that many of the State Parks that I have looked at tell you enough about the hiking trail to determine if you will be able to handle it with you little one, but if you are unsure try to research further online. You can look for reviews and other articles in conjuction with the State Park website to be very sure that this will work for you and your children.
- A change of clothes (again, we usually only worry about Brady - but sometimes he figures a way to get us dirty too) this also stays in the car.
- We bring the baby too - so I bring my baby bjorn (you probably don't want to hike through the woods with your stroller)...the diaper bag stays in the car - because....where am I going to change a diaper in the woods anyway.
- A shovel and pail and possible a platic bag (I tend to go for the large ziploc freezer bags) for collecting things...depending on the seasons (and of course where you live) you can also collect items to be used in future art projects...leaves for Thanksgiving placemats - pinecones for christmas ornaments (both of those items can also be used on Christmas Wreaths as well)...
So try hiking / nature walks with your little ones...they will love it and the added benefit is that the whole family gets some exercise too.
See my other Family Fun on a Budget posts